Herdsmen Menace/banditry: Lagos, Benue, Ebonyi, Five Others To Acquire Drones - |Ads4naira Blog|

Herdsmen Menace/banditry: Lagos, Benue, Ebonyi, Five Others To Acquire Drones

There are strong indications that no fewer
than nine states will soon acquire remotely
piloted aircraft (drones) and other devices
as part of measures to tackle kidnapping
and killing in their states.
Investigations by The PUNCH on Saturday
showed that the states included Ogun, Oyo,
Ebonyi, Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Benue and
Enugu.
Sunday PUNCH had, on July 28, reported
that efforts of some state governments to
obtain necessary safety and security
clearances to acquire drones were failing
due to the strict conditions stipulated by the
Federal Government’s agencies responsible
for granting the approval.
The report listed some of the states that
had made moves to deploy drones in
tackling bandits, kidnappers and killer
herdsmen as Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Kaduna
and Anambra.
At a meeting with the South-West
traditional rulers at the Presidential Villa on
Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari
said he would direct relevant federal
agencies to speedily approve applications
by states for drones.
Ogun, Oyo initiating process of applications
In the light of the fresh President’s pledge,
the Ogun State Government told The
PUNCH that it had begun the process to
apply for drones to fight herdsmen menace
and other criminal activities in the state.
The PUNCH learnt that the decision of the
state government was based on the
relocation of killer herdsmen to areas of the
state including the Lagos-Ibadan road and
the Sagamu-Ore Expressway.
Two weeks ago, a son of the Chief Medical
Director of the Lafia Hospital, Apata,
Ibadan, and two workers of the hospital
were kidnapped at Ajebo, along the Lagos-
Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, on their
way to Lagos.
It was learnt that the victims, who were
allegedly kidnapped by some Fulani bandits,
secured their release a few days later after
paying about N50m as ransom.
On Thursday night, five people, including a
pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of
God, were kidnapped around the Area J3,
Ogbere along the Benin-Ore-Sagamu
Expressway. They have since regain their
freedom.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State
Governor, Kunle Somorin, told one of our
correspondents that the state was ready to
acquire drones to tackle the menace of the
killer herdsmen.
Somorin said, “We have always stated that
we will deploy technology in fighting crimes
and insecurity. Drones are consistent with
how we plan to track, pre-empt and prevent
crimes and deviant social behaviours. The
Federal Government’s position is in tandem
with our vision for drones.”
When asked whether the state had sought
the permission of the Federal Government,
Somorin stated, “Whatever means that is
legal will be taken to ensure the drones are
acquired.”
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Oyo
State Governor on Media, Jide Ajani, said
his principal had already said he would
deploy technology in tackling insecurity. He
added that drones were one of such
technological devices to actualise the plan.
Ajani, in an interview with The PUNCH, said,
“The issue of drones is not new to us here.
At one or two fora, our governor, Mr Seyi
Makinde, had hinted about deploying
technology to combat criminality in our
state. Drones are included in the larger body
of technology that can be deployed in
combating criminality.
“But for the process and the complex nature
of our country, where you have security on
the exclusive list, our governor would have
set the ball rolling. Most importantly,
however, there is the urgent need for the
realisation that these episodic approaches
to fighting crime are not sustainable.
“What is sustainable is what we have been
talking about and which is dear to Governor
Makinde and that is the issue of true
federalism. The issue of state police is very
central.”
Ebonyi waiting for green light to apply for
drones
Also, the Ebonyi State Government said it
would apply for licence to import drones
any time the Federal Government decided to
issue such official permit.
Emma Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to
Governor David Umahi, stated this in an
interview with one of our correspondents in
Abakliki, the state capital.
He added that aside from the state
government’s willingness to join others to
acquire drones, it had commenced the
installation of security cameras and closed-
circuit televisions at strategic entry and exit
points within the state to check the influx of
foreigners, especially illegal herdsmen.
“We will import drones as soon as the
Federal Government decides to issue the
licence for them in the country. This will
help in Abakaliki and curb insecurity in the
state.
“Outside the planned importation of drones,
the state government is mounting CCTVs in
strategic entry and exit points within the
state to check foreigners and herdsmen,”
Uzor added.
Benue to apply for drone licence
Also, the Benue State Governor, Samuel
Ortom, expressed the plan of the state to
acquire drones anytime the Federal
Government decided to give the go-ahead
for the licence.
Ortom, who disclosed this through his
Special Adviser, Col. Paul Hemba (retd.),
described the decision of the Federal
Government to allow the appropriate
agencies to issue the drone licence as a
welcome development.
“The state will surely apply for the drone
licence anytime the Federal Government
approves the issuance of the licence.
“Although I have not heard nor read the
Federal Government’s decision to issue the
drone licence, Benue will surely apply,” he
added.
We’ll look at the possibility, says Ekiti
On the state’s plan for the proposed drone
initiative, the Special Adviser on Security
Matters to the Ekiti State Governor, Brig.
Gen. Ebenezar Ogundana (retd.), said the
state would look at such possibility after
due consideration of the cost and the
benefits.
Ogundana, who explained that although
drones owned by the military were catering
to the strategic needs of Ondo and Ekiti
states, stated that the drone licence
initiative was just emerging.
He said, “We would sit down and actually
analyse the situation, the cost implication,
the advantages and disadvantages, we will
now decide whether we are going to key
into that arrangement.”
Enugu to deploy aerial surveillance
On his part, the Enugu State Commissioner
of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, said aerial
surveillance would be used to monitor
forests in the state.
The police commissioner said this on Friday
after a security meeting following the killing
of a Catholic priest in the state by
suspected herdsmen.
The state police boss, who read the
resolution of the meeting, said, “The state
government also resolved to have aerial
surveillance in all the forests that these
dastardly incidents are taking place.”
When contacted on the matter, Kaduna
State, one of the states which The PUNCH
had reported had applied for licence for a
drone, declined to comment.
The state Commissioner for Internal
Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel
Aruwan, described the enquiry as a security
matter.
“What you are asking is clearly undermining
and compromising security of our citizens
and we cannot compromise their security on
the pages of newspapers. No comment,”
Aruwan stated in his response.
Anambra discontinues use of drone
But the Anambra State Government said it
had discontinued the use of drones for the
surveillance of criminals. It explained that in
place of drones, the state occasionally hired
police helicopter for aerial battle against
criminals.
Speaking with The PUNCH on the telephone
on Friday, the state Commissioner for
Information and Public Enlightenment, C-
Don Adinuba, explained why the state
discontinued the idea of using drones for
security.
“One is the lifespan of the battery and the
image generated by the device,” he said.
The Ondo State Government, through the
Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald
Ojogo, said, “I’m not inclined to disclose
whether or not the Ondo State Government
has applied, or will apply for such (drones).
“Like the states of the South-West have
always maintained, the menace of insecurity
has assumed such a frightening dimension
that requires a commensurate strategy to
tackle.”
Banditry checked, no need for drones –
Zamfara
Meanwhile, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, the
Security Adviser to Governor Bello
Matawalle of Zamfara State, said the state,
which had witnessed some of the most
deadly and persistent attacks in recent
times, did not need drones.
“The state does not need any drone at the
moment considering the fact that the
activities of bandits are almost controlled
as a result of the peace accord between the
government and the bandits,” Dauran
stated.
No security threat in A’Ibom, says
commissioner
But the Akwa Ibom State Government said
there were no security threats in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information,
Charles Udoh, said, “I don’t like commenting
on issues of insecurity; there is no
insecurity in Akwa Ibom. We are focused on
development and how to ensure all
communities in the state get the basic
necessities of life; that is the plan of the
government.”
The Permanent Secretary in charge of
security in the Cross River State Governor’s
Office, Sir Alfred Mboto, said, “Normally
when you want to buy any security
equipment, you have to apply through the
National Intelligence Agency. I don’t know
whether another agency will handle the
application for drones. I will liaise with the
Chief Security Officer on the issue.”
South-East forest guards won’t carry arms
– Umahi
Meanwhile, the South-East Governors’
Forum said each state in the zone would
form its forest guards to ensure that
criminals, who infiltrated into the zone,
were fished out.
The governors also disclosed that in the
planned security measure for the zone, the
guards would not carry arms but would
work with security agencies to achieve the
desired results for which they were being set
up.
The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi,
who is the chairman of the Forum, spoke
through his Chief Press Secretary, Emma
Uzor, in an interview with one of our
correspondents in Abakaliki.
The CPS said, “They are not going to bear
arms. They are going to be pure civilians
and they will be going into these forests
with security agents such as policemen,
men of the Nigerian Army, operatives of the
Department of State Services and others
who will provide security cover for them
while in the bush.
“Every state will have its guards, but there
is going to be a coordinating security
committee to be headquartered in Enugu,
the capital of the defunct Eastern Region.”
He noted that each state in the zone was
expected to gather intelligence and forward
same to the committee in Enugu, whose
responsibility would be to process it and
send to security agencies for necessary
action.
He further revealed that the guards in
collaboration with security agents would
comb the forests in their different states
twice or thrice daily.
He said each state in the South-East was
at liberty to commence the exercise as soon
as it could, adding that arrangements were
already ongoing to start enlisting trusted
Ebonyi youths into the planned programme.
According to him, states in the geopolitical
zone are embracing what the Federal
Government is doing by clearing 50 metres
into bushes on major highways to ensure
there is no hiding place for criminals.
“The essence is to checkmate the infiltration
of foreigners who are not Nigerians that
illegally come into the country as herdsmen
and others.
“Their (forest guards) mode of operation
involves traversing all the forests in each
state within the zone, twice or thrice daily,
to fish out criminals,” he added.
Tunji Bosun, Abiodun Nejo, Ademola
Babalola, Ada Wodu, Patrick Odey, Tony
Okafor, Edward Nnachi, John Charles,
Raphael Ede and Godwin Isenyo



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